Tag Archives: #52Ancestors

Close to Home

Close to home. The school would be close to home. That was one of the reasons we believe that my grandfather was sent to live with his father’s cousin when he was only four or five years old. As it turns out, the cousin, Flora Moyer Epright, lived with her husband Hilary and widowed father Nathan Moyer on the Moyer family farm. And Ridgeville School (a one-room school house) was right around the corner. Here is my scrapbook page documenting that story. (The page is made with a kit called “Hello Father” from the Digial Scrapbooking Studio.)


Long {Life} Line

The next 52 Ancestors prompt is “Long Line.” I’m actually running a little late with this post, plus I took some liberties with the prompt and decided to write about a relative who led a long, interesting life. There are probably several in my tree that I could have chosen, but I decided to go with my grandfather’s first cousin, Laura Yeager Sampsell.

Laura was born in North Coventry, Chester, Pennsylvania on February 28, 1887 to Jacob John Yeager and Anna Elizabeth James. She died on January 22, 1981 in Norristown at the age of 93. She was their only child. Her father died of pneumonia in 1894, and her mother married a widower named John Quarry in 1902. John had four children from his first marriage giving Laura two step-brothers and two step-sisters.

Both of Laura’s parents came from prominent and well-to-do families. Anna (aka Annie) James was the eldest daughter of Charles James and Emma Ibach and sister to my great-grandmother Alice James Garner. The James family were millers and lived a comfortable life in Coventryville, Chester, Pennsylvania.

Laura’s father, Jacob Yeager, came from a prominent farming family in the area of Kimberton, Chester, Pennsylvania. Distant relatives run a Christmas tree farm as well as a pumpkin patch and a road-side store to this day on land passed down through the Yeager family.

Laura had an interesting work-life and career. In 1908, at the age of 21, she was listed in the local City Directory as a saleslady. In 1910, her occupation was manicurist and in 1912 through 1916 she was a hairdresser. But then in 1918 her occupation was listed as chiropodist. This was a term for foot doctor and would eventually be replaced (at least in the US) by podiatrist. In this era, a chiropodist did not have the training of a medical doctor.  But there was some training and credentialing involved. Her 1981 obituary noted that she was a member of the Keystone Podiatry Society of Pennsylvania and the a life member of the American Podiatry Association — so she did have the amount of training required in her day.

About the time of her career shift she moved from Pottstown to Norristown and married Floyd Sampsell. He was a railroad engineer. Their first child, John Y. Sampsell was born in 1917, followed by another son Warren in 1919. Their youngest, Floyd Jr. was born in 1926, but died two years later in 1928 of Bright’s disease. Sadly, Warren died in 1937 of a pulmonary embolism and John in 1938 of pernicious anemia. It is hard to imagine what she went through at this time in her life.

Laura was also a bit of a mystic. My Mother tells several stories of Laura telling fortunes, predicting future events and sensing events that were about to happen. Though there is much more that could be written about Laura, I’m going to include a recent scrapbook page I made of her and leave at this for now. (The layout is made with a modified template from Anna Aspnes and the kit is “A Crystal Winter” by DayDreamDesigns.)





Favorite Photo

In 2018 I started the 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks challenge. I didn’t get very far into the year before I let it lapse. I am going to try again this year, but with the caveat that I will give myself the option to change up the prompts to better suit the stories I want to share. Also, instead of regular blog posts, some (maybe even most) of posts will be in the form of a scrapbook page. My hope is that I will be able to accumulate the pages into a heritage photo book at some point in the future.

The week 1 prompt this year is Fresh Start. My plan is for that post to be about my patrilineal line. Not only is the prompt relevant to that line, but my first post (Start) in 2018 was about my earliest documented matrilineal ancestor Anna Maria Shimer Keeley. And I think there is a nice balance if I switch to the patrilineal side this year. Unfortunately, I am not ready with that post at this point. Therefore, my first 52 Ancestor post for 2020 is going to be prompt 2 – Favorite Photo. And the post is actually artsy scrapbook page using supplies from Anna Aspnes Designs. I hope you enjoy this format.